CATFISH AND CATFISH CHUM
Chumming for Catfish
Catfish Chum -
Chumming with Milo, Wheat, Soured
Range Cubes and
Looking for information on chumming for catfish? Go to Learn To Catch Catfish and check out the chumming articles there.
Anybody that knows any
serious catfish guys has
heard about chumming. You always hear stories about it, little rumors
Uncle Fred's cousins boyfriend and his mystery catfish hole. Chumming
not a big mystery if you ask most serious catfish guys, now on the
hand, the spots they chum IS likely a mystery, because they do not want
you blabbing all over town about their little honey hole.
Serious catfish guys chum
holes. It is a simple
effective way to attract and keep fish in a given area so you can do
serious fishing. It works very well and is fairly easy and inexpensive
you go about it the right way.
There are numerous
commercial chums available that
you can use. Buying a commercial chum is expensive. I have never used
of these commercial chums because of their cost and the fact that I
to know what exactly I am throwing in the water. Many commercial chums
the "Dock Block") contain sorghum, which if kept in the water
is likely to gather you a great big mess of Carp.
The even bigger drawback of
the commercial chums
is the expense. I can make about 12-14 gallons of chum for what one
bag of commercial chum would make (and the commercial chum would last
trip). Again, I am not knocking the commercial stuff. For many people
may be a good option. A serious angler that is on a budget however is
likely to choose this route.
There are a number of
different options to choose
from. You may encounter many different variations of these chums but
these purposes I will try and keep these as simple as possible. These
all effective in the forms in which they are listed.
These items should be
available at any feed store.
PLEASE REMEMBER WHEN YOU ARE
READING THIS TO PROTECT
OUR RESOURCES. DON'T LITTER THE WATER, IF YOU DROP A BAG OR BUCKET IN
WATER, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A ROPE OR SOME MEANS TO GET IT BACK OUT.
Milo comes in 50 lb bags. A
50 lb bag of Milo will
make approximately 2 ½ - Five gallon buckets of chum. It is available
at feed stores and will run around $5 for a 50 lb bag. In order to make
the milo chum you will need the following ingredients:
50 lb Bag of Milo
2 or 3 - Five Gallon Buckets with Lids
To make the chum you need to
fill your 5-gallon
buckets about half full with Milo. Once you have added the Milo to the
you need to fill the bucket with water to about 2 inches over the
To speed fermenting of the Milo you can add a can of beer or some
yeast and ½ cup of table sugar. This will help speed things up in
colder weather but is not necessary at all, it just depends on how big
a hurry you are in. During the summer you do not need to add these
because the heat will push the process right along. You can also add
quantities of deer corn and cottonseed meal if you wish but it is not
Another option is to use "Chicken Scratch" which contains many
of the above ingredients.
Once the Milo and Water are
in the bucket you need
to place the buckets somewhere out of the way and place the lids on top
BUT DO NOT SNAP THEM ON. Within a day or two you will notice the water
the Milo beginning to bubble. This is the fermenting process. Keep an
on the buckets and you will need to add water to them every day or two
the grain finishes absorbing water. Keep the water level about an inch
the top of the grain.
After a week or so the
bucket will stop bubbling
and you can snap the lid on tight.
Now, let me forewarn you
guys. This stuff gets
to stinkin'. It stinks bad, I mean real bad. So bad that it will turn
stomach the first whiff you get on a summer morning. If you have a
girlfriend or kids around the house, you need to forewarn them. You
want them messin' around with those buckets cause they are liable to
a big surprise. Keeping the lids snapped on the buckets helps, but when
it hits 98 degrees in August, you just have to live with the smell. I
not recommend keeping this stuff in your garage after about a week or
I try to let my Milo rot for
about a month before
I even consider using it. You can use it sooner than that but I would
letting it sit at least 2 weeks at a minimum. It has to smell really
and stink for it to be effective. If you try and use it too soon it
not sink and it won't work. You need it to go to the bottom.
When it has gotten really
good and rotten, you
will know. The smell gets much worse the longer it sits and it will
REALLY bad. It will also develop some clumps of white and black mold
gunk on the top of the water and have a lot of foam on the top. This is
the good stuff. Prime 100% grade A STINK!.
Try to keep several buckets
of Milo going at once
so you do not have to wait on it. One thing that works really well is
you get to the bottom of a bucket, leave a few inches of soured grain
the bottom and add your new grain and water to the old stuff. This will
help the fermenting process along.
Many people rot their Milo
in 55 Gallon drums but
I prefer the 5 Gallon buckets because they seal tight and keep the
somewhat contained and when I am ready to fish I grab some buckets and
With a 55 Gallon drum you have to scoop the rotten grain out into a
container for transport.
When transporting your Milo
to the lake, MAKE SURE
IT IS SEALED. If the buckets turn over and spill all over your vehicle
boat, this is not likely a mistake you will make twice.
To chum your fishing holes
with Milo you just need
to find the right areas. Look for spots that are likely to be hideouts
cats and chum these areas. If the cats are not there, the chum will
them to that area. If you maintain a schedule for chumming on a regular
basis the cats will cruise your spot for food. They are not ones to
a free meal.
All that is required to chum
the area is throw
out several scoops of grain and water. A coffee can works well for
People argue about how much to use in each area but several large
can scoops of grain will get things going. The grain sends the cats in
a lot of times, and often, when you drop your line in the water your
will not make it to the lake bottom. When you throw the Milo out don't
some little girly move and dump this stuff casually over the side of
boat! Get you some good momentum behind it and broadcast this stuff out
in a half moon or in a line across about a 10 foot area. If you dump
the grain in one big pile the fish will not be moving around scavenging
When you land your cats,
they will often puke this
stuff out all over your boat following their feeding frenzy. If not,
you clean your fish, cut open the stomach and you are almost guaranteed
to find a stomach full of Milo. If you are chumming on a regular basis
is still a good idea to dump some Milo 15 or twenty minutes before you
If you want to keep the
smell and a small amount of grain in an area you can use a Tow Sack
filled with grain sunk in the water, or a 5 gallon bucket with holes
drilled in it to dispense the grain (you need to put a big rock or
concrete in the bottom of the bucket to hold it down). The same methods
with buckets or Tow sacks can be used with range cubes also.
As said before, there are
variations to this basic
Milo recipe. Some folks add corn, cottonseed meal or corn meal to their
buckets. I have even heard of people adding garlic to their Milo. Just
the basic process down and then tweak your recipe to suit yourself.
Range cubes can be used for
the chumming also.
Available at any feed store these are great big pellets and contain a
of ingredients including cottonseed meal. The cubes come in 50 Lb bags
run between $5 and $6 a bag.
WHEN BUYING RANGE CUBES MAKE
SURE YOU ASK FOR 20%
You can use the same method
of throwing a few handfuls
out in your fishing hole in a broadcast pattern (DON'T DUMP THEM ALL IN
A BIG PILE IN ONE SPOT, really whiz em'out there over a good area).
In addition to dropping them
in the water you can
take a tow sack and fill it about half way up with range cubes. Tie the
top of the sack off with a rope and drop the sack in the water in your
hole. You can also jab a knife in the bag if you wish to help release
of the range cubes into the water when they begin to break down.
Another method (as mentioned
with Milo also, but
it is not anywhere near as messy when using range cubes) is to take a 5
gallon bucket and put a big rock or some concrete in the bottom to sink
it. Drill a good number of holes from 1/3 to ¾ inch In the sides
of the bucket. Fill the bucket with range cubes and snap on the lid.
a rope to the bucket and drop it in the water. The range cubes will not
only attract the kitties but it will also attract baitfish (and the
can swim in the holes into the bucket to feed). This is like a great
flashing buffet light to the channel cat. Channel cats like free meals!
If you cannot stomach the
smell of the Milo, you
are probably headed down the wrong fishing path. Much of catfishing
FOUL smells. One benefit of range cubes is that they DO NOT smell. Many
people alternate the range cubes and Milo. Some use the range cubes to
on a regular basis and then dump the soured Milo fifteen or twenty
before they fish to send the fish to feedin'.
There many other chum
recipes out there. I know
of people that use a mix or corn meal and cinnamon in a tow sack. There
are others who freeze blended up shad in buckets with a rope tied
and drift them in the water behind their boats. The Milo and Range
are the most common and the ones I have the most knowledge of.
Make sure you broadcast
the chum across an area, don't just drop it over the side in a big pile.
Pick spots that are
likely catfish spots, look for areas that would be a good catfish
When chumming in
current, you need to find areas that have still water with little or no
current or breaks in the current to hold the chum in a given area. The
only other options are to use the sack or bucket to hold the grain. You
are better off chumming an area with less current.
Chumming needs to be
done in shallow water. If you dump your chum in deep water it is going
to spread out all over the water and you have wasted your chum. Stick
to shallow water with little to know current.
Read the information on
Texas Catfishin' Resource about how to find catfish. This is a good
guide on locating areas to chum.
Don't be afraid to use
chum. Chum three or four areas at a time when you fish. If you do not
get a bite within 15 to 20 minutes, move on to your next spot. If you
have chummed and area and do not get a bite within 15 to 20 minutes it
is not likely you will get one.
Chumming works, it will
often draw fish into an area that there are not fish. Remember that
channel cats are scavengers and they LOVE free meals.
5 Gallon buckets and tow
sacks are easily accessible. For buckets you can try restaurants and
donut shops (they get their glazes in buckets) or at a last resort you
can buy them from most feed stores and construction supply houses.
Burlap sacks are easy to obtain also from feed stores, if you have to
buy them most construction supply houses sell them.